Friday to the Start Line
Sorry I had to break this into sections because there were so many little things I didn't want to skip over.
To start we got into the city on Friday night. We got into Newark and took the airport shuttle the New Jersey train to Penn Station and then got slightly lost on the NYC subway system. Thankfully once we got it figured out the station wasn't that far from our hotel.
Saturday we hit the expo and even though it sounded on FB that security would be crazy it wasn't bad at all and took hardly any real effort to get in. I got my bib and start bag. We then wandered around with first getting an official NY t-shirt(because apparently the one they give us wasn't enough for me LOL). While walking around we found the Garmin booth and found out that they were selling the new Garmin that I was looking at for sale before it hit stores! So that means Christmas came early for me and I got my new FR220. We tried some yummy cheeses, chia seeds, and yogurts. After that we dropped everything off at the hotel and walked over to Central Park and checked out the finish line. I was constantly giddy. We then went out for an early dinner of what else but pasta and then settled in for the night.
My alarm was set for 5am. I woke twice once at 3:30 freaked out that my alarm didn't go off because of the time change. For some reason I was convinced that it was clocks forwards not back in my sleep. I went back to sleep and jumped awake at 4:50 and decided to just stay awake. Hubs woke up with me and I got dressed and he got me to the restaurant around the corner then he went back to bed LOL. They were open earlier than normal for the marathon runners, so I got some oatmeal and headed over to the subway.
While waiting for the train I started talking to two ladies. One was Alabama and the other was from Montana. We stuck together for the 20 min train ride until we got to the ferry. Montana then left to meet up with friends and Alabama and I stayed together. We hit the bathrooms and got on the next ferry boat. (I should point out that there were tons of police there with dogs and big guns. You were only allowed into the waiting area if you showed your see through bag and if you had a regular bag they would look through it.) Once we got our seats and moving, the nerves were starting for both of us. Mostly when we noticed that the US Coast Guard had a small boat on each side of the ferry the whole way. We then got the line up for the bathroom again before heading to the corrals since it was cold outside and it was better to wait in the ferry terminal. LOL. After that crazy long line Alabama left since she was in an earlier wave than me. Not wanting to go out into the cold I stayed another 30 mins or so in the terminal and met some people from Australia and Denmark and another couple from the States. A race person came by and told us the last of the buses would be leaving soon. So reluctantly we all said good bye and good luck.(Good lesson for a very crowded race – unless you plan on staying with someone you probably won't see them again so wish everyone luck) and headed to the buses. In the crowd there I talked to two guys who were from New York and got in with the 9+1 Road Runners thing. On the bus I talked to a girl from San Francisco who was running her first marathon. She was also bundled in a sleeping bag.
After getting off the buses and heading to the corrals. There was insane police presence there. You had to walk down the street and go through metal detectors. Any electronics had to go into your bags or in bins. More sniffing dogs were around and even if any police couldn't see your bib on your person you would get pulled over and scanned again. Thankfully I had no issues and got into the Fort easily and I imagine it was the same for most people. It was set up in the Colours so I went off to the blue section and was happy to see that it wasn't just open space. They did have some tents to protect from the wind. There were lots of bins for garbage and clothing as people were shedding layers. I was tempted to grab a coffee but since I'd never had Dunkin Donuts before I decided to skip it. I wasn't there for more than 15 mins when the final call for the Baggage trucks went. I decided to not use my baggage and just put my clothes in the donation bins. The corrals were packed and you could feel the nerves in the air. When we started moving the lady next to me said “oh shit” she then apologized and I just laughed and told her she said what we were all thinking. The Blue corral started with the toll boothes on our right and buses on our left. You would have heard the announcer over the speakers except for when the helicopters were too close. We heard the National Anthem and then the canon went off and there was no mistaking it. Everyone clapped and cheered. Then the famous Frank Sinatra came over the speakers and as we were walking to the actual start line you could hear sooo many people singing along. I was totally one of them. I loved that they made each wave important. We got almost everything that the leaders got I imagine.